40 down, six to go… still right in the mix. For the first time in a few years, we’re battling out at the right end of the table at this stage – all due to the hard work and effort that has gone in so far.
And Reading boss Veljko Paunović is excited at what lies ahead. There’ll be nothing given up easily over the final stretch – but we’re embracing whatever comes our way.
“It’s the best possible time from our own perspective to confront the next six games,” Pauno said. “It is going to be very exciting, and I’m looking forward to it.
“Everything depends on us. We are here because of our efforts and doing things right so far. We are continuing with enthusiasm, absorbing the chance and the opportunity that we created for ourselves. We are excited.
“Everyone understands the moment that we are in this season, the opportunity that we have. We have worked all this time on their mentality, and to understand that if you do your best, you will be happy with the outcome.
“We are looking to have the same approach. We have been consistent in how we work, and we are blessed to have a group of players and people around the club who are on the same page and giving their best every day.
“And on beautiful days like these, we want to maximise our effort in our work. We are getting ready – we have a couple of days to get ready for our game on Friday.”
Our 1-0 win against Watford in our fourth outing of the campaign set the tone for a great season so far for the Royals – it was a benchmark performance for the team. But now we have to do it all over again on the road against a side gunning for an automatic berth.
“It is a game in the past; it is a game that we reference for our performances and for how our season and our team developed from that point,” he continued.
“A lot is behind us – a lot of good things A lot of injuries also, but a lot of guys returned stronger and better than they were before. And most importantly, they have put their improvement to the service of our team. That’s why we are where we are now.
“It is a very good team and we know what we have to expect. They are up at the top of the league and one of the best teams in the league so far… their performances prove that.
“But they are not unbeatable, like every team in this league. We will look to maximise our potential and our talents, and put up the right performance to get the result over there. We know it’s not going to be easy, it never is. We rely on ourselves and how we prepare over these next couple of days will determine the outcome on Friday.”